Santa Cruz – April 2023

Between storms and strong winds, my father and I found a window of mild weather to sail from Berkeley to Santa Cruz. We motored from Berkeley to just past Alcatraz, at which point the winds quickly picked up. I had chosen the genoa due to the light wind conditions, but we were quickly overpowered. As we headed to a more sheltered position near the San Francisco shoreline, I swapped out the genoa for the class jib. With just two tacks, we had cleared Lands End and were sailing comfortably along the coast on an upwind tack. We stayed on the same tack until Half Moon Bay. Around Montara, the already mild winds died down even further. I put back the genoa, which we probably could have been using for most of the day after clearing Lands End. As we got closer to Half Moon Bay, the winds shifted and we were sailing downwind between the buoys marking the approach to the harbor. After clearing the last of the marker buoys, we found ourselves sailing upwind to a nice breeze leading up to the sea wall. We sailed in the lagoon behind the sea wall and dropped anchor for the night. … Continue readingSanta Cruz – April 2023

Berkeley – September 2022

This first day of sailing ended up being a trial run. Conditions from shore seemed mild. I had packed lightly having just returned from a three-week work trip. A friend, William, accompanied me. After some delays in organizing our belongings, we got a late start around 1:30pm. The sun was shining and the winds were calm inside the Monterey Bay. We sailed comfortably until just past Steamer’s Lane, at which point northwesterly winds picked up dramatically. … Continue readingBerkeley – September 2022

San Francisco Bay – June 2022

With mild but sufficient winds until Davenport, I sailed with the genoa. At this point, the northwesterly winds picked up and I switched to the class jib. Fog was also pretty thick such that I relied on my instruments for orientation. Arriving wet from the fog and upwind sailing, I anchored in darkness close to the beach at Año Nuevo, my only company the lights of two fishing vessels nearby. The rocking was less than the last time I visited Año Nuevo. I woke up a few times during the night to check the hold of the anchor, but otherwise slept soundly. … Continue readingSan Francisco Bay – June 2022

Año Nuevo – March 2022

Originally, my plan was to sail to Half Moon Bay and then onward to the San Francisco Bay. I got an early start at 7:12am given predictions of some coastal wind. However, it was largely non-existent. After a little while bobbing about near the Santa Cruz Wharf, I decided to motor at about 3 knots for about two hours until 9:12am. I could have gone faster, but wanted to conserve my gas reserves. Strong northerly winds were encountered once clear of the Monterey Bay. I sailed upwind for a while with my genoa until it became just too difficult to manage. On a tack near shore, I swapped out my genoa for the class jib. Eventually as winds picked up, I would also reef the main. The sea conditions had lots of swell and it was a wet ride. I started to get the hang of how to avoid slamming the boat over the swell without deviating too much from my course. … Continue readingAño Nuevo – March 2022

Monterey – March 2022

Consistent southwesterly winds prevailed throughout. I sailed with my genoa and full mainsail close reach to close hauled on a starboard tack for the entire trip. About halfway to Monterey, I spotted perhaps five boats flying spinnakers in my path. They seemed odd bunched up in the middle of the Monterey Bay until I realized they must have been sailing together out of Moss Landing. One of them in particular never seemed to change direction relative to me, and sure enough came pretty close when crossing paths. Right around then, I also passed a half-deflated balloon floating floating on the ocean’s surface. Always up for a chance to practice man-overboard procedures, I quickly came about and managed to pick up the balloon before continuing on to Monterey. Around 5pm (Lat: 36.670431 Lon: -121.907301) winds picked up, at which point I switched from the genoa to the class jib and reefed the main. It was an invigorating last hour or so approaching the scenic Monterey area. … Continue readingMonterey – March 2022

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